Proclamation 6416—Cancer Control Month, 1992
By the President of the United States of America
When our Nation first observed Cancer Control Month more than 50 years ago, few diseases evoked more dread or inspired a greater sense of mystery than cancer. Today, however, thanks to advanced in early detection, diagnosis, and treatment, more than half of the people who are diagnosed with cancer survive their disease 5 years or more. While this progress is heartening, each year more than 1,000,000 Americans continue to be diagnosed with cancer -- and tens of thousands die of the disease. Thus, the observance of Cancer Control Month warrants as much public attention and cooperation as ever.
Further progress in the fight against cancer depends on continuing research. Through the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Federal Government supports a nationwide network of cancer centers where physicains and scientists conduct basic research and clinical trials on cancer prevention and treatment. The Institute also helps to support the research of investigators in private laboratories and hospitals across the country.
Basic research has made cancer prevention a realistic expectation and brought us a range of new cancer therapies. Such advances hold promise not only for our fight against cancer but also for our battles against other diseases, such as AIDS. In addition, our Nation's investment in the work of pioneers who are investigating the genetic and molecular bases of cancer has produced an extra dividend: a thriving biotechnology industry that, in turn, has helped to accelerate biomedical research.
To help speed the transfer of the results of biomedical research from the laboratory to the patient, the NCI's Physicain Data Query (PDQ) incorporates into a computerized system the newest information about cancer prevention, technologies for early detection, and innovative therapies. Through the PDQ, physicians can readily obtain needed information. Cancer patients and other concerned individuals can dial toll-free number to obtain information as well: 1-800-4-CANCER to reach the NCI's Cancer Information Center and 1-800-ACS-2345 to access the Cancer Response System of the American Cancer Society.
While research is helping to lead the way in the fight against cancer, the public also has a key role to play in achieving victory. Each of us can adopt healthy behaviors that lower our risk of developing cancer. Smoking is implicated in at least one-third of all cancer deaths each year -- about 170,000 deaths in all. No new drug, therapy, or screening technique would strike as forceful a blow in our fight against cancer as the decision by millions of smokers to quit the habit.
Maintaining a high-fiber, low-fat diet is another effective means of cancer prevention. Americans can reduce their risk of developing colon and other kinds of cancer by reducing their consumption of fatty foods and by increasing their daily intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals.
Just as a healthy life-style -- one that includes a sensible diet and regular exercise -- can help to decrease the risk of developing cancer, periodic cancer screenings and early detection can also save lives. Every American is encouraged to learn about cancer and its warning signs and to supplement regular self-examinations with periodic checkups by his or her doctor. A physician's judgment, which is to often based on the use of sophisticated testing equipment, is imperative.
Simple steps like these, along with continuing research, can take us a long way toward our goal of defeating cancer. Indeed, as we continue to unlock the secrets of this complex disease, our failure to take advantage of all that we have learned would be the only mystery that remains.
In 1938, the Congress passed a joint resolution (52 Stat. 148, requesting the President to issue an annual proclamation declaring April to be Cancer Control Month.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of April 1992 as Cancer Control Month. I invite the Governors of the fifty States and the appropriate officials of all other areas under the American flag to issue similar proclamations, and I urge every citizen to join in achieving continued progress in the fight against cancer.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-two, and the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.
George Bush, Proclamation 6416—Cancer Control Month, 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/268528